The Republican Party has become a white nationalist party. If old fashioned politics can’t change that, we must consider alternatives.
Bernard Harcourt | Boston Review | January 7, 2021
The sitting president of the United States, squarely defeated in the 2020 election and denied a second term, staged a counterrevolution on January 6, 2021—the day Congress was scheduled to confirm the results of the Electoral College. It was an unprecedented sight. A mob stormed the Capitol, overtook the House and Senate chambers, and ransacked the Speaker’s office. Instigated by the president, the insurrection was enabled by the leaders of the Republican Party who, for months, refused to recognize the election results.
This counterrevolution was long in the making. Its eruption fully exposed the deep rift in this country.
Americans have rarely disagreed so deeply, not since Reconstruction. The parallel is not anodyne. Back then, the disagreement turned on the moral truth of white supremacy. Today, it is more oblique and better disguised, but race relations remain at the heart of the disagreement. It should not come as a surprise that 1876 was the last time a presidential transition was so contested—a time when “abolition democracy,” as W.E.B. Du Bois called it, hung in the balance and ultimately perished alongside Reconstruction.
Originally published in Boston Review. Read the full article here.